Feeling stuck in a rut and tired of living an unproductive life? Trust me -whether you’re struggling with productivity at work or at home, you’re not alone. Many of us get caught in the trap of spending our days inefficiently and ending our days wondering what went wrong. While all of us have our bad days, there are reasons why some people are more prone to be unproductive. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people – they just have bad habits. It’s these habits that make it impossible for someone to be productive. Let’s take a closer look at the habits you should avoid so you can become more productive at work and at home.
Not Having a Schedule
First things first. Not having a good schedule in place can make it hard to be productive. You not only need to know what to work on that day, but want to schedule the tasks so that everything gets done. Remember to give yourself extra time so that you have a buffer should something take longer than you expected. Another great tip is to schedule your work around the time of day that you’re most alert.
Phone calls, text messages, email, TV – these are all distractions that cause people to be less productive. If you want to get the most work done, you want to avoid distractions as much as possible. For example, instead of checking your email every couple of minutes, schedule time into your day to check your email. You also want to turn off your cell phone and check it only a couple times per day as well.
Some people do work better under pressure. However, if you want to be productive and get the most work done, you need to work ahead whenever possible. You also want to stop putting off things you can get done today. Even if it’s something you’re really not looking forward to doing, you want to put in the time to get the job done so you can move forward.
Not Prioritizing Time
To be productive, you want to make the most of your time. This means scheduling projects that are the most important and only working on side projects once the most important work is done. Each day I prioritize my day by picking my big three tasks I need to complete. Once those tasks are done, I work on the other things on my to-do list. Learning to prioritize what needs to be done has been monumental in my life and helped me get more done each day.
Lack of Organization
You can not be productive if you’re constantly looking for a file or the supplies you need. Create a work space that is organized so that you have everything you need where you can find it. The same goes for digital files. You want to create a file system that makes sense to you so that you don’t lose your files.
These days with so many online courses, books and webinars, it’s easy to get overloaded with too much information. Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing courses you don’t need or don’t have the time to complete. Stick to the basics so you’ll have less distraction and be able to focus on what’s truly beneficial to you.
I remember when multitasking was considered a strength, but people are finally realizing it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When you attempt to focus on many things at once it winds up taking more time. Not only is it slower, but you’re more likely to have mistakes. Instead, focus on one task at a time and you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time.
Glorification of Busy
It seems like these days people equate a busy schedule with a fulfilled life, but that isn’t always the case. My boss used to tell me that being busy isn’t the same as being productive, and she was right! Having too much on your plate will lead to disaster at some point. You’ll find yourself unfocused, worn out and unable to get anything done. Learn how to say no to some things so you can put your full effort towards what matters most in your life.
Waiting for Perfect
Too many people find themselves waiting for everything to be perfect before getting started on a new project, idea, etc. I’ve done this too many times to count and I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best to just get started. While I may feel I need to get all the supplies or find out all the details before I start a project, I find myself waiting another day, which turns into another day, then another. Two weeks later I’m regretting my decision when there’s no progress. Sometimes you just got to get your hands dirty and dig in and let the rest fall into place.
Running on Empty
If you’re trying to work when you’re tired, ill or hungry, chances are you will not be productive. You will not be able to focus on your tasks when you’re tired. Take a break, a nap or even the day off if needed to refresh yourself so you can put your best effort towards your work.
It’s not hard to be productive. The key is ending bad habits that make it impossible for you to get work done. A great way to end these bad habits is by replacing them with good ones. Be sure to download my Habit Tracker to help you on your journey to becoming more productive at work, home and life.